Neonatal Specialist Sub Group - New kid on the block- how to embed dietetic services in the neonatal unit

Hosted by Neonatal Specialist Sub Group

A study day specifically for dietitians working in neonatal care.

Programme to focus on:

  • Service development
  • Establishing and implementing referral criteria
  • Clinical supervision
  • Importance of self-care with input from Clinical Psychology
  • Panel discussion
  • Networking opportunities


Sara Clarke & Rachel Hoban.

Sara Clarke, Lead Network Dietitian, WMNODN Chair NDiG BAPM AHP exec committee rep at West Midlands Perinatal Network.

More about Sara - she is an experienced paediatric dietitian, having worked at Birmingham Women’s & Children’s Hospital for over 25 years. Sara joined the Neonatal Network in 2015, a role she only took on for a year but got hooked and ended up staying!  she is the Chair of the Neonatal Dietitian’s Interest Group and BAPM AHP executive committee representative. Education of others on all aspects of neonatal nutrition is a key part of her network role and she enjoys delivering sessions across the network and nationally to all neonatal staff.  Sara is responsible for the delivery of the neonatal nutrition MSc module on behalf of the British Dietetic Association and has been involved in many local and national initiatives since  she took on the Network role including the development of standardised feeding guidelines, Network PN and the early expressing and administration of colostrum to babies on the NNU, as well as a member of several BAPM Toolkit and Framework groups on breast milk, donor milk and neonatal outreach.  Sara is a passionate supporter of all things breast milk!

The session will cover


  • Elements of a neonatal dietetic service
  • Prioritisation of dietetic services on reduced capacity
  • Developing and embedding referral guidance
  • Using audit to evaluate service and measure impact

Rachel Hoban, Specialist dietitian, Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust. 

More about Rachel -  she graduated in 2004 and completed post graduate training in paediatric dietetics whist working in local general hospitals. In 2008 started at Birmingham children’s hospital, working in a range of specialities to include gastroenterology, neonatal surgery, and inherited metabolic diseases. In 2023 moved to work at the Trust’s sister hospital on the NNU at Birmingham Women’s Hospital to provide and develop a neonatal dietetic service.   

The session will cover

  • Elements of a neonatal dietetic service
  • Prioritisation of dietetic services on reduced capacity
  • Developing and embedding referral guidance

Louisa Whitfield-Brown, Neonatal dietitian, RVI Newcastle & AHP Lead for dietetics (Northern Network).

More about Louisa - she worked as a research scientist before changing direction and joining dietetics.  Louise was a paediatric dietitian in the North-East for over a decade, in a variety of specialties, before joining the neonatal team at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, she is the network lead for dietetics in the Northern Neonatal Network (Nornet) and alongside Nat Neo RD members aim to develop and support the neonatal dietetic workforce & progress initiatives to optimise neonatal nutritional care at network level.

The session will cover 

  • Benefits of collaborative working in neonates at every level (unit, network, national) in terms of learning, securing standardised evidence-based care, promoting and developing the neonatal dietetic profession and supporting cultural change. 
  • Acknowledging the challenges of collaborative working in a new post or as a new member of the MDT and the importance of peer support.

Catherine Casewell, Neonatal Dietitian and Neonatal Lead Dietitian for KSS at Ashford and St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey.

More about Catherine -  she has been working as a neonatal dietitian at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey for the last 23 years.  Catherine's 3 days a week are spent either with infants and families providing direct patient care or in developing guidelines, MDT teaching and audit work.

In addition to this role, 2 days a week Catherine is the Neonatal Lead Dietitian for Kent, Surrey and Sussex ODN, her main areas of focus are in supporting the development of neonatal dietetic posts, providing clinical supervision, education and training and developing network guidelines to ensure consistency of care in the network.

The session will cover

  • Be able to describe why supervision is essential in providing a safe, effective, high quality and professional service.
  • Describe aspects of clinical supervision to develop knowledge, skills and competencies.
  • Describe effective supervision – for the clinical supervisor and the practitioner.
  • Be aware of supporting tools e.g. COP,  Knowledge and Skills Framework for Dietitians Working within Neonatal Services.

Davy Evans, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Lead Neonatal Psychologist for West Midlands Perinatal Network at West Midlands Perinatal Network.

More about Davy - he works as a consultant clinical psychologist in neonatal and paediatric care in the West Midlands.  Davy splits his time between the West Midlands Perinatal Network and independent practice. As a co-founding member of NeoLeaP, the Neonatal Leads for Psychological Practice in England, Davy is helping to expand and develop the place of psychological thinking in all aspects of neonatal care.

The session will cover

  • Psychological perspectives on the work of a dietitian new to neonatal care, by exploring ways to think about your work as a dietitian and how you work with the families, colleagues and systems in neonatal care to practice collaboratively and in a way that is sustainable for you.
  • There will be a mix of presentation and experiential activities to get you thinking about how this feels and reflecting on challenges, opportunities and solutions.


  • Neonatal Sub Group Member £30

Not a member of the Neonatal Sub Group - join the sub group for free as a Paediatric Specialist Group member. Not a member of the Paediatric Specialist Group - join the specialist group for only £30 for the year.

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